Half-Step, Jerry means business right away, always a good omen of what’s to come.
Mexicali has some nice Bobby tone and chords in it.
Big RR was great stuff! Energy is on the right track.
BTW was another homerun for Bobby and the “Midnights”.
Scarlet is a bit short, but so nicely played, with Keith on the organ and Bob and Jerry really making the guitars fun. Donna… ugh.
TN Jed, is a bit slow, but funky. Bob and Jerry put together another solid jam before the final chorus.
Bobby McGee is a fine version that maintains an energetic tempo.
Sugaree, what was shaping up to be freaking awesome was unfortunately marred by source issues, Jerry’s vox fall off the map, as well as Keith’s piano for a good portion. Keith comes back, but Jerry’s voice is still gone. At least his guitar never dropped.
Jack Straw still vox deprived, where are you Bob?
IMHBTR, vox issues
El Paso, vox issues
Loose Lucy, vox still low.
Money Money, the 2nd of 3 performances. Fortunately for us, the vox issue was fixed in time! Sure it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s fun and as we know Bob is a fan of cheese. It kind of reminds me of a Brother Esau in the way it’s put together, and Bob talks about Women’s Lib, come on!
China>Rider, Jer’s vox apparently not fixed, but they do come back to the proper level before the first solo. Great work by Jerry, and Bob’s rhythm playing is very psychedelic. At 6 minutes things build to a nice climax before settling down into the feeling good jam, aka actual segue point into Rider, which Bill pushes further than it usually goes and gets everyone excited. Rider features a screaming Jerry headlight verse and a good serving of Philbombs.
A nice trifecta to open up the second set? Yes, please! Fired up and ready to play, Bobby belts out the Holly song with gusto. By the time you get through this, Jerry’s guitar has turned into a razor blade, and Bob’s a fan. Heading into disco land, ahead of their time…
Ship. Funeral home Keith takes to the organ, as Jerry serenades us through his life.
Bob is really on fire here in another sequence, this one a qualifying meat sequence. Keith is as well, hitting the organ for WRS and moving to the guitar during the LIG. Jerry, of course, plays beautifully. These aren’t the noodlefest LIGs we get in the 80s, but quite cohesive and pretty. I don’t want to say less is more, but it’s nice to get different versions, which I believe is what keeps me coming back to the GD even if I take breaks for sometimes years at a time. You never really hear the same song twice, even if it is the exact song from the exact show… you’ll notice something different, follow a different instrument through a different passage, and be surprised. Starting before the 14 minute mark Jerry is trying some unique stuff, a perfect example of what I was just talking about. I find this one gets a little disjointed, but remains enjoyable. Anyhow, so in a way, less is… different, and different is more.
The music finds its way into Wharf Rat. It’s also a somewhat different version, especially in the getting up and flying away part, which sets it on the path to an extremely, and lengthy energetic climax. A+ Wharf Rat!
Big River, another fun version.
The other meat sequence to the familiar notes of Truckin’, buckle up. Jerry is feisty with his licks and chords during the verse, then the build up and release is the closest music can come to having an orgasm. Into the jam we dive, and it doesn’t go directly to the slower blues angle so many of its peers do. Jerry does hint at a Nobody’s Fault But Mine jam, but it doesn’t materialize. This is another thing I love about the band and their improv, sometimes they reject the path suggested and go elsewhere, for better or worse. The jam had start to slow but at about 9 minutes it totally changes shape to a very quick tempo blues. What ensues from here is some of the finest jamming the boys have ever put together. I find myself unable to work or study (don’t ask), and am completely dominated by the music. This maintains until the switch into the next track, the Mind Left Body Jam (clearly based on the song Your Mind Has Left Your Body by the scraps of Jefferson Airplane in 1973, from the album Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nuns). This is one of the crazier ones for sure, not to be missed. Billy the one man wrecking crew puts us nicely back into traditional songs with NFA breaking the beat. Bob gets extra weird in here, to great effect. Jerry has his blues back on, and Billy is really probably the star. I love Keith’s weird organ in the GDTRFB, throughout which Billy remains absolutely unstoppable. One of the better Roads you’re going to find out there, tempo is a bullet train and Jerry is spot on… again.
Bob has to remind us that every night is Saturday for them, even if it’s Sunday… great close out.
Encore: US Blues to close out this late spring show, why the hell not? Bob and Phil make sure they are heard.
Another long one from the Golden Era coming in at about 3 ½ hours. The first set is on fire from the get go, the vocal dropouts being the only flaw, and that’s out of their hands. The 2nd set continues the greatness with 2 meat sequences and a great opening trifecta. Classic show, worthy of all the praise it receives.
A-, some very minor issues in the beginning, near total vocal drop out in Sugaree that sticks around through Loose Lucy (beginning of China>Rider for Jer!)
During this time, I recommend using the following, “re-mastered” source… https://archive.org/details/gd1974-05-19.sbd.clugston.thir13en.remaster-6957.79781.sbeok.flac16
To me, the lack of vox actually made it unlistenable (though I did listen for the sake of the review). Skip ‘em!